I was pretty sure I had cancer or something was completely out of whack in my body anyway. The lymph nodes thing was pretty scary. And the neutrophilia was not meaningless as the E.R. intern wanted to say, assuaging, assuaging. The other doc ordered the CAT-scan from high up the neck down into the apical parts of my lungs and they read the results and said "no lymphadenopathy" and sent me home.
The one intern was nice to bring up my results on a computer screen in my room and move through the transected planes of images of my neck; it was almost like one of those computer programs where pilots are trained. Imagine your neck as being imaged inside a crystal ball, and she is turning the ball in her imaginary "hands" and you are seeing your carotid, your lymph nodes, your bone structure....she even showed me the "virtual ruler" and how they deploy it to measure the nodes to determine whether lymphadenopathy is present. I kept asking how old the intern who read my CAT-scan was and whether he was dumb or not. Of course, I couched this in a more subtle way. I didn't use the word "dumb."
I remember them asking me if I'm allergic to the iodine dye when they were fixing me up with the i.v. before the CAT-scan, and I lied and said "No." Well, I don't know if I lied. I had no clue if I was allergic. I just figured if I was, I would go into anaphylactic shock and my misery would be over quickly and Lee could collect a fortune from this wealthy institution.
And of course I knew it was not nothing even after the pronouncement of "No lymphadenopathy...Go home" and spent a horrible week wondering what it really was, and not really able to dismiss it as my S.I.G.M. surging bacterially when that seemed to be in abeyance somewhat.
So I tool into my dentist when I finally scrape together the funds to finally fill this cavity that's near the back of my mouth and starting to really throb. I had been doing the poor man's treatment with the fake filling stuff from Wally World and then Orajel, and had had bad reactions to both of these substances that lasted one day.
And he says, "Wait, I need an X-ray" and of course I knew instantly what's coming next when he says that.
He tells me it's abscessed and he can't fill it. It's a root canal at the periodontist or nothing.
I haven't seen my periodontist in three years. We tend to move in different circles.
So I ask him how much it will cost me to have the fucker yanked instead and he says "a few hundred, possibly less."
And how much for a miserable root canal (that might not last anyway). And he says a thousand bucks probably. Then seven hundred for the crown.
So you can guess which option I chose.
Plus with my depression lately I did the verbiage count. I figured I could get the tooth yanked by speaking about 150 words, but it would probably require at least 2500 words with strangers to set up the root canal and crown.
And is any single tooth (in the back mind you) worth 1700 dollars? I could see a front "star" tooth demanding that salary, but a rear grinder? It's a mere bit player really--lucky to even be able to share the stage with those celebrated incisors and canines, who are in practically every scene. Don't even try to talk to them after the show if you're a lowly molar. Let them get their beauty rest. They'll be on again soon enough.
I asked the dentist what the pitfalls of having it pulled are, and he said my teeth would shift and my bite would be off.
I asked if I could have some sort of "bridge of one" constructed to stop this and he seemed to imply this is possible with a vague nod.
I'm sure this is something ridiculously exorbitant as well.
So now this probably explains why the lymph nodes that I felt were all on that side of the neck and back below this tooth.
I never even thought to put that tooth and the problem with it together with what was happening with my body and my CBC. But I had started taking aspirin-substitute and ignoring the pain as it crept up somewhat insidiously and tended to wax and wane. I should have known by the time I started feeling pain in my jawbone that something seriously bad was going on. You can die from an abscessed tooth if you neglect it. And it was one near the back, so the odd pain I had in my brain might have actually been bacterial attack migrating that direction. Ugh.
I'm hoping this explains why I felt shitty and why I had neutrophilia (which is usually a response to a bacterial infection).
The receptionist at the oral surgery clinic is wonderful but she was doing her best to terrify me when I made the call to schedule. She wanted me to fill the penicillin rx instantly. So I did. Right after Googling "abscessed tooth" and "death" and "oohing" and "aahing" for about twenty-five dunderheaded minutes in which bacteria were probably doing their best to hurry up and do me in (doubtless they had overhead the news that the assassin Pencillin had already been phoned up).
I hadn't realized I had probably once again gone over to bacteremia, possibly without even the influence of the nefarious S.I.G.M.--or maybe the S.I.G.M. had made this situation more possible. I'm not sure if the bacterium in question is one of the ones I'm more susceptible to--that tends to be more strep or staph strains. I think these teeth ones tend to be other spirochete creepy things.
It isn't like I don't brush after every meal (I do). I just have been cursed with what I was told is "thick, ropy, enzymatic saliva" since I was young. I think it runs in my family. As one notorious friend noted, "God probably knew you would need that for the blowjobs." I always had to get cleanings more frequently than others, even though I brushed and flossed just as often.
So maybe the pencillin is what made me feel momentarily free of my agoraphobic tendencies lately and allowed me to go to Saturday's Market in Middletown with Lee and Chas yesterday.
I found a bunch of great items, mostly to give to Lee to pass on, but a few tiny things for gifts and to keep.
Found a great nineteenth century photograph of a waterfall I don't recognize at all, an oversize cabinet photo that's just gorgeous (one dollar), a bizarre rotogravure postcard of a little baby girl (a buck) and a tintype of a baby that I think is Civil War era (two bucks).
Somebody's Mother died and she had collected salt and pepper shakers. Collected is an understatement. Worshipped? Hoarded? I usually don't pick up too many of these as I find most of them exquisitely boring but the son was selling all of them for a buck per set and she had ones that caught my eye. Green plastic atomic bombs from the fifties. A cast iron pup in a cast iron shoe. A weird set composed of a German Shepherd and a logpile he was apparently guarding. Many were older and had the corks for stoppers.
I found some great children's schoolbooks from the thirties, forties and fifties. I bought mostly workbooks as the textbooks tend to be less rare. There was a linen book featuring breeds of dogs, one per page, that was to die for, but it had too many condition issues. It's so hard to find those linen books. And they are invariably amazing. The colors and design on this one were out of this world. They were definitely 1940s doggies.
At a jewelry stand there was this great sale on vintage pins and I found some awesome ones. Lots of old Halloween pins and a weird African Ubangi one.
Someone threw in a free stuffed Chilly Willy (the penguin) when I was buying other items.
I had a good time talking to sellers and found some I definitely want to seek out again.
I was sorry I didn't take my digicam for pics as I saw some amazing things I didn't want to buy, but would have loved to have shared here.
We started with the outside sellers (a huge parking lot) and then moved inside. Some of the inside sellers (who have permanent stalls) have amazing displays of centuries worth of photogenic detritus.
It's like walking through the Titanic at the bottom of the sea for me. And that's about how slowly I move, unfortunately, in places like this. I get totally absorbed. There were sellers I had to just walk away from because I knew I would fall into a trance for hours--certain postcard sellers, for example, or the guy who had every science fiction journal from the thirties, forties and fifties there for purchase (most in mint condition).
I could truly spend a month just looking at one day's displays if I were able to freeze time and not sleep for that period.
Of course I made sure we got lots of veggies, fruit and treats from the stands, mostly from our favorite Amish families.
The tomatoes are already delicious. In April! You have to forget dietary sanity when you're buying from the Amish. Their flavored potato chips, pumpkin roll, cakes, chicken pot pie, etc. are musts.
I picked up goodies and things for my Mom and we dropped them off for her on the way home. I found some jewelry for her as well as the pieces I found for Lee to put online.
Oh, I almost forgot to say. The other night I was looking at this lovely Gruen fob-style watch on an ornately articulated chain that I had resting atop a chest of drawers in my bedroom for quite some time--just for eye-appeal. It's definitely 1920s or earlier. And I wound it up and was surprised to realize the thing actually keeps perfect time. I think I'm going to carry this around in my pocket now like a complete madman since my Seiko battery died sometime back and I can't face an interaction with a person behind a jewelry counter at this point in time. I know it only costs five bucks to have the battery replaced but you need the jeweler to open the watch. It's one of those ridiculously impossible backs that requires the jeweler's tools.
I'm still not sure I don't have lymphatic cancer or something else horrible but I'm hoping once the oral surgeon removes the fucking poison tooth things will resolve in the CBC and the nodes.
I was making horrible jokes at the Market. I told Lee "Wow, I could even go out and fuck someone with syphilis right now!" Penicillin makes you feel so armored. I'm sure it's an illusion. I don't think he appreciated my slutty sense of humor.
I offered Lee and Chas penicillin in case they too wanted to get right up in people's faces at the market and breathe some contagion but they passed. Of course, this will do nothing against the viral stuff. It's just penicillin.